In Bolivia's silver mountain, artisanal miners turn to coca and the devil


  • World
  • Monday, 30 May 2022

A display shows samples of various minerals from Cerro Rico, an active silver mine that is slowly sinking and collapsing onto itself, in Potosi, Bolivia March 24, 2022. REUTERS/Claudia Morales

CERRO RICO, Bolivia (Reuters) - Next to one of Bolivia's poorest cities lies one of the richest silver mines in the history of mankind - Cerro Rico, Spanish for 'Rich Mountain - a once-legendary source of wealth for the Spanish Empire that is now being dug out by artisanal miners.

The miners - independent workers who labor in dangerous conditions in dark and poorly-ventilated tunnels - live off what they earn from the scraps of silver they find in Cerro Rico, which is slowly sinking and collapsing onto itself.

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